2: A little (re)-introduction

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2023

Many of you know me already, but in case we haven’t met: Welcome! I am Sandra, your NaBloPoMo host. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that you are here. 

Only recently did I learn that some of you didn’t know that my full name was Sandra. My mind was blown, I thought it was obvious that San was a nickname. But how could you have known?

Well, Sandra is indeed my full name, but please call me San. Nice to meet you!

I grew up in Germany, but have lived in the U.S. for almost two decades now. My husband Jon, whom I met during an exchange semester here in the US, and I live in a duplex apartment in California’s beautiful state capitol. I wrote a little bit about the decision to come to California here.

I am a 40-something wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. I work as a geographer for a government agency and in my free time, I run and ride my Peloton. Most of my friends will agree that I am a bit of a nerd at heart. I pay a lot of attention to detail and I always joke that if something can be measured, I want it measured. I love books, knitting, travel, Friends reruns, and good food. Yes, I guess you could call me a foodie. I bake my own sourdough bread and I love to cook and bake.

As I was making my rounds on all of your blogs yesterday, I was excited to find quite a few new-to-me faces this year. Yay! I also received quite a few lovely shoutouts from some of you guys. I am deeply appreciative and humbled by all your kind words and your support. Thank you!

But, you must KNOW that NaBloPoMo and this community thrive because of every single one of you. I am so excited about growing this community and I cannot wait to see all the new friendships that will be forged this year.

So, the best way to do this is to get to know each other (more), if the summary above was not enough. Remember “Ask San Anything”? During last year’s NaBloPoMo, I asked you to submit any questions you might have for me, and then others jumped on the bandwagon and it became a whole thing where people set up Google forms to collect random questions from their readers. 

I decided to open up the Google form again for questions. Ask away!

Ask San anything!

Speaking of which, I realized with shame that I still had a handful of unanswered questions left over from last year. I don’t know how it happened that I failed to answer them all in a timely manner, and I am so sorry that I dropped the ball. But rest assured, these questions will be addressed shortly.

In the meantime, tell me a little bit about yourself in the comments!

  1. Hi San!! Where in Germany are you from? Although I am Russian, I have relatives that moved to Germany after the fall. Essen, Hamburg, and a small village in Bavaria (forget the name). I’ve been to Germany a few times, in Bavaria, then took a train to Austria.

    1. I am from the Cologne area. I knew you were Russian, but didn’t know you have relatives in Germany. How cool. How did you end up in the US?

  2. Can you believe I can’t come up with a single thing to say? Maybe I’m saving my words for all the NaBloPoMo posts ahead :)

    Always lovely to read re-cap/intro posts like this and thanks again for organizing this event!

    1. Save your words, Elisabeth :) I already know a bit about you!

  3. I am still reeling a little from your Big Name Reveal of last year. I don’t know why it surprised me so much to learn that San is a nickname!

    Something about me… I have been to Germany twice and LOVE it. The first time, my husband and I went to Berlin as part of a huge Euro/Scandi trip we took before med school. The most recent time was for our tenth anniversary, when we spent ten days in Austria and Germany. It is such a beautiful country! I would love to go back and take my daughter.

    1. Haha, I am so sorry I “shocked” you all with the revelation LOL

      That’s wonderful that you’ve been to Germany. Berlin is obviously worth a visit! I hope you get to go back sometime!

  4. Nice to re-meet you San! There aren’t enough Sandras in the world today – I think you’re the only one that I know.

    As a reintroduction, I’m a late 40’s stepmom to 2 boys and 1 dog, accountant by profession, ex-runner, fitness enthusiast and foodie. I don’t remember how we “met” originally but it was a long time ago (in internet years anyway).

    Have I told you that both my husband and I have German ancestry? We both have German great grandfathers so we both have German last names.

    1. Really, I am the only Sandra you know? That makes me feel special – it was such a popular name growing up and I knew SO MANY Sandras LOL

      Nice to re-meet you too, Birchie. I definitely feel like we’ve known each other for a good while :) You have not told me about your German ancestry though… do you know where your grandparents were from?

  5. Introducing yourself with a full name. That is a first on this blog, isn’t it?
    I need to think really hard to come up with a question.
    As yourself I have also seen new faces so I am very excited.

    1. Haha, I guess I thought I would put my full name out there for all new readers :)

  6. I remember my surprise at learning your full name was Sandra! Lol! All the Sandras I know either go by Sandra, or Sandy, or, in one case, Sam. But no Sans! I will definitely come up with a question for you!

    1. I get Sandy a lot but I am quick to correct that my name is Sandra :) (San is only for special people on the internet!)

  7. San is a great nickname, but I would not have guessed for Sandra— I think because of the Sandy connection Nicole makes. I only found your blog and IG last year through Elisabeth, and I am so happy I did :)

    1. So funny that nobody made the connection between San and Sandra :) I am also very happy to have met you last year, Sarah.

  8. SANDRA!! I still giggle when I think about how surprised I was. It’s such a lovely idea to do an introduction post. I really…should think about doing that.

    1. Haha. It’s so funny that my full name surprised so many ;)

  9. Hi San! So great to meet you. I’ve seen your name – I think you’ve been mentioned on Nicole’s blog. I credit NoBloPoMo for me adventuring over to meet you and check out your blog. A geographer? Wow. That area is not one of my strengths, but I do think that I do a decent job of finding my way places even without GPS. (I guess sense of direction is not exactly related to geography) My kids on the other hand? Well, the internet has done them no favors in this regard. They are all amazed that I have a general idea of where various places are in the surrounding Chicagoland area. I’m like HEY, BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, I DID STUFF AND I WENT PLACES. I also like to run (when the weather cooperates, see above: Chicago) and I enjoy baking, but I have celiac and I honestly don’t bother to bake much GF treats. My fear- I’d eat them all. My husband and I have 6 kids and their sports and college visits keep us busy and entertained and sometimes frustrated. Thanks for organizing NoBloPoMo.

    1. Hi Ernie. Thanks for stopping by and joining NaBloPoMo. I am sure I’ve also seen your name on Nicole’s blog before and I am glad that we’re now connecting.

      I had to chuckle about your comment about teenagers and lack of sense of direction. That describes my niece to a ‘tee’.
      Wow, and you have 6 kids. That must be wonderful and stressful at the same time. I am looking forward to getting to know you better.

  10. I will now spend the rest of the day thinking of what else San could be short for ;) thanks for being my Peloton inspiration!

    1. Oh, but I wanna know LOL
      Yay, do you also have a Peloton? Did I miss this?

  11. I am not even sure anymore how I stumbled on your blog – maybe Instagram and one of the challenges involving German expats? I am so glad you are hosting NaBloPoMo again and inspired me last year to join.

    1. Yeah, I don’t even know how we found each other Meike, but I am glad that we did :)

  12. We started watching Friends reruns recently, because of Matthew Perry’s recent death. It’s always good for a laugh, and since we’re almost finished re-watching Seinfeld, we need some light fun.

    I like reading these ‘getting to know you’ posts. Good idea.

    1. Yes, Friends has always made me laugh out loud! It’s my go-to, feel-good TV shows that I can watch over and over :)

  13. Well, I feel like I know you fairly well- we’ve had a lot of Weekly Rundowns together and this is my third year of NaBloPoMo. But I didn’t know you like to knit, and I didn’t know you like Friends. You can always learn something new!
    I did know your full name is Sandra, but I’ll agree with the other commenters that San is an unusual nickname. I like it!

    1. I also feel like we know each other quite well by now and I always love to read about your exercise routine! You’re an inspiration to me :)

  14. I didn’t know you are a geographer! can you please describe what you do? I’m so curious!!!

    1. I guess, I’ll pick up that topic in a blog post! Thanks for the suggestions, Coco!

  15. Hello, my fellow nerd, and nice to meet you again. :) I imagine I do need to reintroduce myself, since I have again disappeared from blog-land.
    I did want to say how much I appreciate you and your connector ways. You really know how to bring people together, so THANK YOU for coordinating this, again, and for bringing us together every year to celebrate this group. <3 (I am trying to read on-time-ish this year, vs. waiting a month until I catch up… it seems to be helping a bit so far?)

    1. Hiiii Anne! I missed you :) So happy to see you pop up in my comment section. I think your approach to read on-time-ish instead of catching up from behind is a good strategy. Thanks for being here <3

  16. **Raises hand** count me in among those who didn’t know your name was Sandra. I think I’ll always think of you as San. Some people call me Mel but friends I went to school with also sometimes call me Perc because my maiden name was Percy

    1. Please continue to think of me as San :)
      Do you like to be called Melissa? Or do you like Mel?

      1. Either is good! Mel is a bit easier and I don’t mind the informality

  17. Say something about me? I’ve been blogging in one place or another since 2004 which probably tells way more about me than I mean to say! Really just checking in here to wave “hi!” and wish you well with this project.

    1. That’s an awesome thing to know about you, Ally, because I’ve been bloggin (in the same place) since 2004 and I just wish I had met you sooner :)

  18. Did not occur to me at all that San was a nickname, especially when I saw you were from Germany (even though San is not a German name I’ve ever heard). It’s not a common nickname for Sandra, but I love it – so short and neat and slightly edgy. I am always interested in people’s names and how they were chosen, but I often don’t ask anymore after asking led to a couple of awkward exchanges – or don’t ask until I know the person better.

    1. Ha, no, San is not a German name, but Sandra is LOL but I love that you find “San” to be short and neat and edgy. That is a good vibe :)

  19. Since I have known you for years, I knew you were Sandra. It’s funny the things we think others know! Like people who just started reading my blog know me as a mom but that’s a newer identity I have taken on. For most of my blogging years I was single and wondering if I would ever meet my mate!

    1. Ha, it’s true… we sometimes forget that people who are new to our blogs don’t know “the whole story”… :)

  20. Thank you again for hosting this San. I’m really looking forward to this month.

    Random fact about me I love gardening and spending time outdoors.

    1. So happy you’re joining us :)

  21. I love how surprised everyone was when they realized your full name is Sandra. Haha.
    It’s hard to share a random fact about me that you don’t already know! The problem with blogging for so long, haha.
    I’m so excited for NaBloPoMo!

    1. I know, we’ve known each other for so long :) I am so glad that you’re joining for NaBloPoMo again.. I am sure I’ll learn something new in the process!

  22. San, I didn’t know you were from Köln! I visited once in 2006 and thought it was so beautiful. I love the bustle and community along the river edge. I have been neglecting my blog so no November daily posts from me but I’m excited to read more from you!

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